The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, any cognitive component (...) can be taken off-line and used to perform some other function. On this view of off-line simulation, such accounts differ radically from traditional information-based accounts of cognitive capacities. And cognitive penetrability provides a wedge for empirically determining whether a capacity requires an information-based account or an off-line simulation account. Stich and Nichols (1992) argued that the simulation theory of behavior prediction was inadequate because behavior prediction seemed to be cognitively penetrable. We present empirical evidence that supports the claim that the behavior prediction is cognitively penetrable. As a result, the simulation account of behavior prediction still seems unpromising. However, off-line simulation might provide accounts of other cognitive capacities. Indeed, off- line simulation accounts have recently been offered for a strikingly diverse set of capacities including counterfactual reasoning, empathy and mental imagery. Goldman, for instance, maintains that counterfactual reasoning and empathy clearly demand off-line simulation accounts. We argue that there are alternative information-based explanations of these phenomena. Nonetheless, the off-line accounts of these phenomena are interesting and clearly worthy of further exploration. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses.
Eco, Chopin, and the limits of intertextuality -- The appeal to structure -- On codes, topics, and leaps of interpretation -- Bloom, Freud, and Riffaterre : influence and intertext as signs of the uncanny -- Narrative and intertext : the logic of suffering in Lutosawski's Symphony no. 4.
ABSTRACT. May scientists rely on substantive, a priori presuppositions? Quinean naturalists say "no," but Michael Friedman and others claim that such a view cannot be squared with the actual history of science. To make his case, Friedman offers Newton's universal law of gravitation and Einstein's theory of relativity as examples of admired theories that both employ presuppositions (usually of a mathematical nature), presuppositions that do not face empirical evidence directly. In fact, Friedman claims that the use of such presuppositions (...) is a hallmark of "science as we know it." But what should we say about the special sciences, which typically do not rely on the abstruse formalisms one finds in the exact sciences? I identify a type of a priori presupposition that plays an especially striking role in the development of empirical psychology. These are ontological presuppositions about the type of object a given science purports to study. I show how such presuppositions can be both a priori and rational by investigating their role in an early flap over psychology's contested status as a natural science. The flap focused on one of the field's earliest textbooks, William James's Principles of Psychology. The work was attacked precisely for its reliance on a priori presuppositions about what James had called the "mental state," psychology's (alleged) proper object. I argue that the specific presuppositions James packed into his definition of the "mental state" were not directly responsible to empirical evidence, and so in that sense were a priori; but the presuppositions were rational in that they were crafted to help overcome philosophical objections (championed by neo-Hegelians) to the very idea that there can be a genuine science of mind. Thus, my case study gives an example of substantive, a priori presuppositions being put to use—to rational use—in the special sciences. In addition to evaluating James's use of presuppositions, my paper also offers historical reflections on two different strands of pragmatist philosophy of science. One strand, tracing back through Quine to C. S. Peirce, is more naturalistic, eschewing the use of a priori elements in science. The other strand, tracing back through Kuhn and C. I. Lewis to James, is more friendly to such presuppositions, and to that extent bears affinity with the positivist tradition Friedman occupies. (shrink)
Feminism was born in controversy and it continues to flourish in controversy. The distinguished contributors to this volume provide an array of perspectives on issues including: universal values, justice and care, a feminist philosophy of science, and the relationship of biology to social theory.
This volume offers the first English language collection of academic essays on the post-Holocaust thought of Jean Améry, a Jewish-Austrian-Belgian essayist, journalist and literary author. Comprehensive in scope and multi-disciplinary in orientation, contributors explore central aspects of Améry's philosophical and ethical position, including dignity, responsibility, resentment, and forgiveness.
In their critique of Klein (2014a), Trafimow and Earp present two theses. First, they argue that, contra Klein, a well-specified theory is not a necessary condition for successful replication. Second, they contend that even when there is a well-specified theory, replication depends more on auxiliary assumptions than on theory proper. I take issue with both claims, arguing that (a) their first thesis confuses a material conditional (what I said) with a modal claim (T&E’s misreading of what I said), (...) and (b) their second thesis has the unfortunate consequence of refuting their first thesis. (shrink)
In this article I want to alert investigators who are familiar only with our neuropsychological investigations of self-knowledge to our earlier work on model construction. A familiarity with this foundational research can help avert concerns and issues likely to arise if one is aware only of neuropsychological extensions of our work.
At lunch one day a colleague and I had a friendly argument over occupational licensing. I attacked it for being anticompetitive, arguing that licensing boards raise occupational incomes by restricting entry, advertising, and commercialization. My colleague, while acknowledging anticompetitive aspects, affirmed the need for licensing on the grounds of protecting the consumer from frauds and quacks. In many areas of infrequent and specialized dealing, consumers are not able, ex ante or even ex post, to evaluate competence. I countered by suggesting (...) voluntary means by which reputational problems might be handled and by returning to the offensive. I said that in fact the impetus for licensing usually comes from the practitioners, not their customers, and that licensing boards seldom devote their time to ferreting out incompetence but rather simply to prosecuting unlicensed practitioners. I mentioned cross-sectional findings, such as those on state licensure, prices, and occupational incomes. Overall, I characterized the professional establishment as a group of dastardly operators, who set the standards, write the codes, and enforce behavior to enhance their own material wellbeing - in brief, as venal rent-seekers. (shrink)
While the Gödel centenary year 2006 triggered a lot of conference and workshop activity on Gödel, the years leading to it stand out by exhibiting several excellent publications on Gödel's life and work, most notably the completion of the Kurt Gödel Collected Works series . The two volumes of Kurt Gödel. Wahrheit & Beweisbarkeit, written in German and edited by E. Köhler et al., constitute something like the ‘German-Austrian contribution’ to this renewal of interest in Gödel's legacy, even though not (...) all of the articles in the volumes actually have German or Austrian authors.2 Indeed, as P. Weibel explains in the preface of the first volume, one of the intentions of the editors was to present Gödel as part of the cultural history of Austria. At the same time, the volumes highlight the contrast between Gödel's national reception—or lack thereof—and the way in which he was perceived and appreciated internationally, and although this discrepancy is now fortunately a thing of the past, its history is worth documenting. In this respect the two volumes will be of lasting value and importance, and the editors must be given credit not just for recording Gödel's delayed acceptance by Austrian politicians and university headquarters, but also for promoting Gödel's case. This being said, there is something extravagant and slightly queer about the two Kurt Gödel. Wahrheit & Beweisbarkeit volumes. Parts of them seem to be written for a generally educated audience, while other parts will be understandable only to logicians and philosophers who specialize in the topics covered. The volumes consist partly of biographical essays, interviews about Gödel, photos of him and his family, and letters by or to him, but they also include several non-historical articles which use …. (shrink)
This article develops a theory of reasons that has strong similarities to Peter Klein's infinitism. The view it develops, Framework Reasons, upholds Klein's principles of avoiding arbitrariness (PAA) and avoiding circularity (PAC) without requiring an infinite regress of reasons. A view of reasons that holds that the “reason for” relation is constrained by PAA and that PAC can avoid an infinite regress if the “reason for” relation is contextual. Moreover, such a view of reasons can maintain that skepticism (...) is false by the maintaining that there is more to epistemic justification than can be expressed in any reasoning session. One crucial argument for Framework Reasons is that justification depends on a background of plausibility considerations. The final section of the article applies this view of reasons to Michael Bergmann's argument that any nonskeptical epistemology must embrace epistemic circularity. (shrink)